Shakespeare folio handler convicted

Dave Higgens
Saturday 10 July 2010 00:00

An antiques dealer has been cleared of stealing a rare copy of Shakespeare's First Folio.

But a jury at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday found Raymond Scott, 53, guilty of handling stolen goods and removing stolen property from the UK. The 1623 compendium, worth £15m, went missing from Durham University in 1998.

Scott showed it to the world-renowned Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC a decade later after he claimed to have been given it in Cuba.

The 387-year-old book was shown to the court during the trial – the first time it has been seen in public for a decade – in a padlocked strongbox.

Scott, of Wingate, Co Durham, was remanded in custody while a psychiatric report is prepared. The judge warned him he faced a "substantial custodial sentence".